Microsoft 365 Updates: March 2021

Each month Microsoft roll out updates to its products services including Teams, Outlook, Yammer and much more! You could look through all the updates on the Microsoft roadmap. But to make it easier for you, we’ve put together the top ones to look out for this March.

Teams:

Dynamic View
Dynamic view automatically optimises shared content and video participants in Teams meetings. New controls will let you personalise the view to suit your preferences and needs, such as the ability to show shared content and specific participants side-by-side.

Presenter View in Teams Meetings
Presenters will be able to view slide notes and upcoming slides, helping the presenters keep the meeting on track, discuss meeting notes and navigate to meeting slides.

Chat Bubbles
Chats sent during a Teams meeting will surface on the screens of all meeting participants, making the chat more central to the conversation.

Meeting Recap
Meeting recap will help teams stay on track and keep their work moving forward after the meeting is over. A recap with the meeting recording, transcript, chat, shared files and more will be shared with participants in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab for each meeting.

Branded Lobby for desktop
Admins will be able to add a custom logo to the lobby and meeting pre-join experience.

New Lobby Setting: Only Invited Users Join Directly
A new lobby setting is coming to Teams Meeting Options. A “People I Invite” option will be added to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting. Once enabled, only the participants invited by the organiser in the meeting invite will be able to join the meeting directly. Everyone else will be sent to the lobby.

Meeting Attendee Registration
You’ll be able to add a custom attendee registration page to any meeting to better manage attendance before and after any engagement. Following registration, attendees receive an email confirmation with a calendar invite.

Anonymous Presenter Support for Live Events
You will be able to allow an anonymous user who does not have an MSA or AAD identity to be a presenter in your live event.

Web Meeting Views in Edge and Chrome browsers
User will be able to change the layout to Together mode or Large gallery during a meeting in Edge or Chrome browsers. Additionally, Gallery view will show up to 4 participant videos during a meeting.

SharePoint home site app
With the new home site app, you can bring your intranet directly into Teams. The app’s icon and name match your company brand and enable employees to discover, navigate and consume your top sites in Teams

Share to Microsoft Teams from Outlook
Send a copy of email messages or conversations, including attachments, into Teams chats and channels or start a Teams chat related to a specific email message. Share to Teams supports Outlook on the web, Outlook for Windows, and the new Outlook for Mac Preview.

Walkie Talkie for GCC
Walkie Talkie, a push-to-talk experience that enables clear and secure voice communication over the cloud. It enables teams to communicate instantly and always stay on the same page. This native built-in app in Teams turns employee or company-owned Android smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie, reducing the number of devices employees must carry and lowering costs for IT.

Collaborative Calling
Collaborative calling enables customers to connect a call queue to a channel in Teams. Users can collaborate and share information in the channel while taking calls in the queue. This feature is ideal for scenarios such as an IT help desk or HR hotline. IT admins can quickly connect call queues to specific channels, and team owners can manage the settings.

Transcription for 1:1 Calls
Transcription captures the text version of your Call and saves it for later use. This can be enabled via the control bar within the Call window.

Transfer Calls between Desktop and Mobile
Transfer calls between desktop and mobile allows users to move their call between devices.

Yammer:

New Live Events Insights
Improve your live events viewership. Monitor attendance, measure the engagement and recognise trends.

New Conversation Insights
See which conversations perform best. Monitor engagement, measure reach, & amplify conversations.

Collapsed Pinned Posts
When viewing a pinned post in a community, the conversation will be collapsed after the newest activity on it has been seen. Users can expand the conversations at any time.

SharePoint:

Scenario-Based Site Templates
Use scenario-based site templates that leverage existing SharePoint capabilities (e.g. pages, lists, libraries, branding) to build your own sites faster and get inspired.

App Bar
The SharePoint app bar brings a consistent navigation experience to every site on your intelligent intranet, featuring quick access to important sites across the organisation with global navigation, personally relevant sites, and the news feed.

Company-Branded Auto News Digest
For SharePoint news users, Microsoft is launching an update to the Auto-News Digest feature. Now users will receive a company-branded Auto-News Digest.

Page Analytics
View rich page analytics on SharePoint Pages, including page views, page viewers and page traffic.

Microsoft Search:

Personal Query History
As you start typing in the search box, you will see suggested searches and results based on your previous activity in Microsoft 365 and based on content that’s trending in your organisation.

Excel:

Natural Language Queries in Ideas
With Natural Language Queries, Ideas in Excel allows you to ask questions about your data. Whether it is retrieving a specific fact or summarising the data in your preferred way. For example, you can ask ‘total number of products’, ‘top 10 products by sales’, or even more complicated questions like ‘what percentage of products have sales higher than 2000 in 2018?’.

Track Tasks with @Mentions
Use @mentions in comments to create, assign and track tasks within your workbook.

Support Rich Text Editing Inside Cells (Excel on the web only)
Users will be able to use RTF (Rich Text Formatting) inside cells in Excel.

Whiteboard:

Additional Content Types
Participants in Teams and on the Web will be able to insert additional content types such as shapes and diagrams.

External Access in Teams meetings
Any guests, external or anonymous users in a Teams meeting can view and collaborate on the whiteboard during the meeting. They will not have continued access to the whiteboard after the meeting ends.

Bookings:

Clone an Existing Bookings Calendar
Duplicate a current Bookings calendar in order to create a new calendar with the same properties and customisation as an existing one.

Add an Attachment to Notification Emails
Adding the ability to include specific attachments in email communications that are sent following an appointment booking.

”Cc” Functionality to Email Notifications
‘Cc’ an additional email address on confirmation and reminder emails.

 

To note: whilst these features are expected to be released in March, the process of rolling them out to all users can take time. Occasionally features can be delayed.

Discover how Breakwater can help your business. Call our team today on +44 (0)1603 709300 or email enquiries@breakwaterit.co.uk

David Loveridge

Projects Engineer

As a Projects Engineer, I support Breakwater and our clients with some of the more in-depth technology strategies, offering my experience and advice to ensure the right solutions are delivered to schedule.

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